Week 5 2018

Depos and Depos and More Depos

Depos and Depos and More Depos

Hard to believe the summer program is halfway done. After doing substantive legal work for five weeks I can’t say I’m too thrilled to still have another year of law school. Can’t I just skip my 3L year, take the Bar, and start working now? What’s that? I’m not special? Is it possible my mother lied to me all those years about how great I am? Interesting. Anyways, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said the work I’ve done so far has been substantive. I think it would’ve been easy for the people here in Tallahassee to offload their grunt work on the summer associate, leaving them free to attack the more challenging cases in their hopper. And it’s a testament to these awesome folks that that has not been the case whatsoever. From Day 1, everyone here has given me a variety of legal assignments that have challenged me to think critically about the issues and also helped to develop my research and writing abilities.

To continue a running theme in these blogs, last week was once again dominated by one big class action. I turned in my research memo the week prior, and to say I was relieved when I got approving feedback from Nicole Smith would be an understatement. When you spend so long on something that you’re eyeballs deep in, there’s always the concern that your finished product will be too wonky or opaque. In my opinion, the reason I was able to avoid falling into that trap is because Nicole was constantly available to help guide me on my research and answer any questions I had. I never felt like I was going it alone, and that gave me the confidence to really dive into some challenging stuff and come out with what (I hope) are some winning legal arguments for our side.

The highlight of last week was definitely the depositions we conducted for the class action, and I was fortunate to be able to attend three of them. Actually, if I’m being honest, the true highlight was the Diversity Lunch and the amazing food everyone brought in as well as hearing the cool stories on everyone’s culture and background. But as for work, the depositions were tops. Every depo was different, and it was interesting to see how Nicole and Dan Gerber approached them. Without going into too much detail, the style and manner varied from one to the other, as did the substance of the questions and how they approached those questions. Both of them knew when to push and when to pull back. My favorite part of the depositions was conferencing during breaks and coming up with strategies on how to get the information we needed and how to broach upcoming questions and issues. I’m humbled that Dan and Nicole valued my opinion enough to ask for my input, and I only hope that whatever contributions I made helped in some way.

The most noteworthy deposition was on Friday, which started at 9:30 and ran until around 5:00 in the afternoon. I’ll be honest…it was exhausting. Having to stay focused that long and keep track of what was said, what wasn’t said, what still needed to be addressed, etc., was mentally taxing. Deposing someone, while interesting, doesn’t quite give you the same adrenaline rush as examining them in a courtroom. That said, you still get a thrill when the deponent gives you just the answer you need, and I appreciate the strategy and gamesmanship that goes into the affair. Having had the opportunity to be so involved in such a complicated case has been the high point of my summer, and I’m appreciative that RK has considered me worthy of taking on such a weighty task. Here’s hoping the last five weeks at RK are as good, if not better, than the first five.